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Skincare Conditions: Impetigo

As your toddler becomes more active with other children - and more liable to get nicks and cuts - one skin condition you should look out for is impetigo.

As your toddler becomes more active with other children - and more liable to get nicks and cuts - one skin condition you should look out for is impetigo. Impetigo is a highly contagious skin infection that's more common among toddlers and preschoolers than among adults. It occurs when a particular strain of bacteria enters the skin, through a cut or abrasion, for example. Impetigo usually isn't serious, but it can be itchy and ugly. Complications are possible, so it's important that you treat impetigo promptly.

What to Look Out For

Impetigo usually shows up as a cluster of little red blisters that ooze, burst, and spread. Most often the blistering appears around the nose and mouth, but you might also see it on your toddler's arms, legs, or other areas. Impetigo is very contagious. Your toddler may have picked up the bacteria by touching an infected child or some object that the child touched, like a toy or a towel. Or he may have already had the bacteria on the surface of his skin and then gotten a cut, allowing the bacteria to enter and cause an infection.

How to Treat Impetigo

You'll need to keep the infected skin clean with soap and water. Twice a day, gently wash away the scabs with water and an antiseptic solution, applied with JOHNSON'S® Pure Cotton Rounds, then pat the area dry (use a clean towel each time, and don't let anyone else use it afterward), followed by an antiseptic solution applied with JOHNSON'S® Pure Cotton Rounds. If your doctor has prescribed a topical ointment, apply it to the tender exposed skin. Keep your toddler's fingernails trimmed to prevent him from scratching the area, which can spread the infection. Your doctor may suggest loosely covering the infected skin with a gauze bandage. Your doctor may also prescribe an oral antibiotic.

Prevention

You can help avoid impetigo by keeping your toddler's skin clean and free of nicks and cuts.

You can also use JOHNSON'S® SOOTHING NATURAS™ Soothe & Protect Balm to help moisturize your toddler's skin. By keeping your toddler's skin protected, you can help prevent the infection that causes impetigo.

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